Tag:Craig James
Posted on: September 1, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Man vs. Woman vs. Machine: Week 1



Posted by Tom Fornelli


For thousands of peaceful, happy years the world was ruled by men. But no longer. Between women and machines, men watch helplessly as our power is tragically wrested away. Surely it can't be true. A world men no longer are in complete control of? Insanity. But how best to prove it?

That, my friends, is where Man vs Woman vs Machine comes in.

I am standing up for men everywhere, yelling from the mountaintops, "You can't take our football from us!" That's right. Every week, I will compete against my girlfriend, Lynn, and a machine, my Playstation 3, as we go head to head to yet another head picking winners of 15 of the biggest college football games of the week.

I will prevail. The fate of our gender and our species depends on it. I shan't let you down.

Let the reclamation of our throne begin.

Wisconsin (-35 1/2) vs. UNLV - Thursday 8pm (All times Eastern)

Man - The excitement of a new season is going to end rather quickly when Wisconsin has this one wrapped up before the end of the second quarter. While I'm a bit leery of spreads this large, I'm also fully aware of the brand of American Football that Bret Bielema likes to play, and I don't doubt for a second that the Badgers will go for 100 points if the possibility is there. Pick: Wisconsin

Woman - "I hate a spread this big, especially when it's being set by some button man UNLV alum named Mo at Caeser's Palace." Pick: UNLV

Machine - The Machine doesn't seem to have a "Crush, Kill, Destroy" philosophy that is as strong as Bielema's. Though the machine really believes in the power of Russell Wilson, as he throws for 4 touchdowns and then runs for another to cap off the scoring in the third quarter. Wisconsin wins 35-7. Pick: UNLV

Baylor vs. TCU (-5 1/2) - Friday 8pm

Man -  This game was a lot tougher for me to call than you would normally think it would be. I'm not sure how TCU's offense will look this season without Andy Dalton around, but I do know that this will still be one of the top defenses in the country. I also know that Baylor's defense is rather porous, which should help TCU because no matter how good Robert Griffin III is, the Horned Frogs defense will make a stop when it needs to. Pick: TCU

Woman - "Home field advantage won't win the game, but it will help cover the spread." Pick: Baylor

Machine - The Machine likes the upset! Apparently there is no defense that Robert Griffin cannot solve, as he throws for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns to lead Baylor to a 34-30 victory. Pick: Baylor

Ohio State (-33 1/2) vs Akron - Saturday 12pm

Man - What should we expect from an Ohio State team this season that doesn't have Terrelle Pryor or Jim Tressel? I don't know yet, and odds are this game won't give us much of a clue either. Ohio State should still win rather easily, but with two quarterbacks and the team's top running back and wide receiver sitting this one out, I don't think the offense will be running too smoothly. Pick: Akron

Woman - "Little known fact: A pair of Goodyear rubber zipper boots inspired Akron's nickname "The Zips."  Coincidentally, the same chance it has of beating the spread." Pick: Ohio State

Machine - Suspensions? What suspension? The Machine has Ohio State winning this one 49-14, and that was with Joe Bauserman taking all the snaps. Pick: Ohio State

Alabama (-36 1/2) vs. Kent State - Saturday 12:20pm

Man - Is Alabama replacing a lot of star power on offense this season? Yes. Is Kent State still Kent State? Yes. Trent Richardson may rack up close to 200 yards in the first half and then sit out the second half, and though I'm somewhat scared that the Tide will call off the dogs a bit late in the game, I still like them to cover this spread. Pick: Alabama

Woman - "Hey, Kent State, do you really want to take the chance? I didn't think so." Pick: Alabama

Machine - Well, Kent State, at least you're going to get some points out of it. The Tide rolls 56-3. Pick: Alabama

Notre Dame (-10.5) vs. South Florida - Saturday 3:30pm

Man - It's a new year and the expectations for Notre Dame are high, so there's nothing new to report. Which is why I'm incredibly leery of Notre Dame being a double-digit favorite because this is a team that hasn't lived up to those expectations for a while, and I'm not going to buy in until the Irish show it on the field. I think Notre Dame starts its season 1-0, but it's going to be close. Pick: South Florida

Woman - "If Skip Holtz has any unresolved daddy issues, now's the time for payback." Pick: South Florida

Machine - Much like the Woman and I, The Machine isn't buying the Notre Dame hype either, and Brian Kelly is going to start feeling some pressure after the Irish lose 23-10 to the Bulls. Pick: South Florida

Florida State (-29 1/2) vs. Louisiana-Monroe - Saturday 3:30pm

Man - I'm not entirely sold on Florida State being ranked as high as it is to start the season, but I don't foresee the Seminoles having any trouble with Louisiana-Monroe this weekend. There's a chance the 'Noles will get caught looking ahead to their date against Oklahoma, but it's a small one. Pick: Florida State

Woman - "F-L-O-R-I-D-A-S-T-A-T-E cupCAKE cupCAKE cupCAKE" Pick: Florida State

Machine - It's a clean sweep as The Machine believes Chief Osceola will send his spear right through the heart of the Warhawks, 42-6. Pick: Florida State

Ole Miss vs. BYU (-3) - Saturday 4:45pm

Man - I know Ole Miss started its 2010 season with a loss at home against Jacksonville State, but to be an underdog at home against a BYU team that wasn't exactly a world beater itself in 2010? Why I'll gladly take the points and put my faith in the Reverend Houston Nutt. Pick: Ole Miss

Woman - "Is it just me or does "Ole Miss" sound like somebody's pet dairy cow or an arthritic spinster? Whatever, Spinster squeaks by at home. (And serves up a delicious applesauce crumb cake.)" Pick: Ole Miss

Machine - The Machine is not religious, but even it succumbs to the powerful words of the Reverend Nutt. There will be no Jacksonville State repeat, Ole Miss wins 44-20. Pick: Ole Miss

Florida (-34 1/2) vs. Florida Atlantic - Saturday 7pm

Man - While I have no doubt that Will Muschamp will have the Florida defense looking as strong as ever before the year is done, I have plenty of doubts about John Brantley and the Gators offense. Because of these doubts I have a hard time believing the Gators will blow Howard Schnellenberger's boys out of The Swamp on Saturday. Florida wins comfortably, but not by a blowout. Pick: Florida Atlantic

Woman - "The Schnellenberger's Last Season Effect: FAU will just beat the spread, which Charlie Weis will promptly schmear on some bagels." Pick: Florida Atlantic

Machine - A new offense? The same questionable quarterback? The Machine fears not these things, and the Gators roll 59-10. Pick: Florida

Oklahoma State (-37 1/2) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette - Saturday 7pm

Man - I'm of the opinion that Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon could end up with 2,000 yards receiving this season, and he's going to get a large chunk of those yards on Saturday night in Stillwater. The Ragin' Cajuns will come after Mike Gundy, but he's a man, he's over 40 and he has an offense that will put up at least 40. Pick: Oklahoma State

Woman - "The only Louisiana Lafayette I know hates vampires and wears false eyelashes." Pick: Oklahoma State

Machine - While The Machine believes in the prowess of Justin Blackmon (8 catches, 238 yards, 3 TDs) it is not nearly as confident in the Oklahoma State defense. Cowboys win 38-17. Pick: Louisiana-Lafayette

Texas (-23) vs. Rice - Saturday 8pm

Man - This game has me torn. On the one hand, I don't know that I want to count on Garrett Gilbert being able to limit turnovers enough to keep the Longhorns comfortably in the lead. On the other hand, Rice. After flipping a coin I've decided to believe that since this game is on the Longhorn Network and nobody will be watching it, Gilbert will feel much more relaxed and the Longhorns will win easily. Pick: Texas

Woman - "The Longhorns enjoy a rebound effect from last year's nightmare season and take out all their frustration on those wise old Owls." Pick: Texas

Machine - Garrett Gilbert for Heisman! Gilbert throws for 278 yards, 5 touchdowns -- half his total from last year -- and only 1 interception as the Longhorns roll 38-7. Pick: Texas

Oklahoma (-24 1/2) vs. Tulsa - Saturday 8pm

Man - This spread is pretty big for an offense that was as potent as Tulsa's last season, but I'm not sure the Hurricanes can put up astounding numbers against the Oklahoma defense without Damaris Johnson and Todd Graham. Landry Jones gets his Heisman campaign off on the right foot. Pick: Oklahoma

Woman - "Seriously, can someone explain why a school located in the heart of Tornado Alley calls itself the Golden Hurricanes?  Tulsa loses but covers." Pick: Tulsa

Machine - The Machine believes in the Tulsa offense a lot more than I do right now, but the Golden Tornadoes fall just short in a 31-24 loss. Pick: Tulsa

Georgia vs. Boise State (-3 1/2) - Saturday 8pm in Atlanta

Man - There are many who believe that Mark Richt is coaching to save his job with Georgia this fall, and his hold on the position will be a bit more tenuous after this one. Kellen Moore and Boise State are going to claim another BCS scalp on Saturday night in front of a packed Georgia Dome, and I don't think it'll be interesting in the fourth quarter. Pick: Boise State

Woman - "Sorry, adorable l'il Uga the Fiftieth, it's not happening." Pick: Boise State

Machine - Wow, I think Boise State's going to win this one comfortably, but The Machine doesn't even think Georgia should bother showing up. Boise State wins 48-9. Pick: Boise State

LSU (-2 1/2) vs. Oregon - Saturday 8pm in Dallas

Man - Is this game going to be played in a parking lot or a football field? To be honest, I'm not sure if being without Jordan Jefferson hurts LSU or helps it, and I hate going against the magic of Les Miles, but I just have fewer questions about Oregon right now. LSU may pull off another insane last second victory, but I still see the Ducks covering that spread. Pick: Oregon

Woman - "Les Miles will be flossing with Cowboy Stadium's Matrix turf." Pick: LSU

Machine - The Machine feels that Jordan Jefferson is incredibly important, and it shows in the final score. Oregon racks up 598 yards of total offense against the LSU defense and wins rather easily, 42-23. Pick: Oregon

Texas A&M (-15 1/2) vs. SMU - Sunday 7:30pm

Man - The team that's leaving the Big 12 against the team that would like to take its place. If SMU wins do they get in? I'm not sure, and I don't think they'll find out on Saturday. While I expect the Mustangs offense to keep things interesting, I think the Aggies will have too much in the end. Still, SMU covers and then Craig James will claim he doesn't remember a thing that happened during the game. Pick: SMU

Woman - "Aggies starting off what could be a great season and a Big 12 swan song with a win, but they won't cover." Pick: SMU 

Machine - The Machine sees a barnburner in our future on Sunday night. The Aggies narrowly escape with a victory thanks to a field goal in the final minutes, but it's not good enough for a cover. A&M wins 34-31. Pick: SMU

Maryland vs. Miami (-5 1/2) - Monday 8pm

Man - Randy Edsall's dream becomes a reality in his first game at Maryland against whatever is left of the Miami Hurricanes by the time the ball is kicked off. All I know is that I wouldn't be shocked if Miami won this game, but there's just no way I'm going to pick the Canes after the amount of work I had to put in to remove all the ineligible and suspended players from the roster before simulating this game. I hope Nevin Shapiro's yacht stalls in the middle of the ocean while you're out there watching the game. Pick: Maryland

Woman: "Instant karma and home field gives the edge to Maryland." Pick: Maryland

Machine: The Dream Job turns into an early nightmare. Despite having to pull players from the stands to complete its roster, the Machine still sees Miami pulling this one off 28-20. Pick: Miami 
Posted on: July 15, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: July 20, 2011 10:19 pm
 

ESPN: Bruce Feldman resumes normal assignments

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Well, that suspension levied on Bruce Feldman for co-authoring Mike Leach's book, Swing Your Sword, didn't last long. In fact, if you ask ESPN, it didn't happen at all. ESPN announced in a statement this afternoon that Feldman had been returned to his normal duties with the company, ending a 20-hour controversy over Feldman's treatment and involvement with the book. Here's ESPN's statement in full:

"There was never any suspension or any other form of disciplinary action. We took the time to review his upcoming work assignments in light of the book to which he contributed and will manage any conflicts or other issues as needed.   Bruce has resumed his assignments."

Now, the notion that Feldman was never under any disciplinary action, frankly, strains credulity. Again, it took 20 hours for ESPN to address this issue, and it's one that could have been resolved in, well, minutes. Further, the idea that Feldman wasn't suspended is apparently news to Mike Leach, who excoriated ESPN on the radio this morning, saying ESPN "isn't going to let little inconvenient details like the facts get in the way of their agenda."

Moreover, the suspension was all but confirmed by Craig James, who expressed surprise on Twitter about the news this morning -- something that SB Nation's Spencer Hall believed to be true in this editorial, which is a little too scathing and scattershot to be of merit here.

With that, then, this issue is effectively settled unless one of the parties feels the need to bring it up again; that seems unlikely. As mentioned before, suspensions almost always degrade a product, especially since Feldman was hardly a limiting agent for ESPN Insider, so ESPN is now better off for having reinstated (or whatever they want to call it) Feldman, so let's leave things like that and move on to more important things. Like video game football.

Posted on: July 15, 2011 3:11 am
Edited on: July 20, 2011 10:20 pm
 

Report: Feldman suspended for role in Leach book

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Mike Leach's new book, Swing Your Sword, was released Thursday, and Leach's co-author on the book was famed scribe Bruce Feldman (The Meat Market, 'Cane Mutiny). Small problem: Feldman also writes for ESPN.com's Insider section, and that may prove to be something of an issue when Leach's book contains a litany of complaints against ESPN on-air personality Craig James for his role in getting Leach fired from Texas Tech.

And yet, according to reports, Feldman was given the green light to proceed with the book, and he never engaged in any promotion for the book before or after its release. Non-issue, then, right? Well, wait:

ESPN college football writer Bruce Feldman was suspended indefinitely during a conference call with three ESPN officials this morning.

[They] informed Feldman today that he has been banned from writing for any ESPN entity, is forbidden from appearing on any ESPN platform, is not allowed to Tweet from his Twitter account nor participate in any promotion of a recently-released book in which Feldman played a role.

Such is the report from Sports by Brooks, anyway, and thus far there's been nothing to indicate the report isn't accurate. Feldman, who's normally a fairly active tweeter, has been silent since Wednesday on his ESPN-branded Twitter account @BFeldmanESPN, and no other ESPN personalities are commenting on the matter.

Just about everybody else in the world is commenting, however, and "Bruce Feldman" became a trending topic fairly quickly Thursday night on Twitter. Twitterers made use of the #freebruce hashtag early and often, especially after Sports Illustrated writer Andy Staples canceled his ESPN Insider subscription in protest:

Now, since ESPN hasn't released its side of this story yet, and since all we're working on is one report from one media outlet, it would be premature and assumptive to rake ESPN over the coals for this decision at this point. All reports indicate that Feldman was given the go-ahead to help write this book before the ugliness between ESPN and Leach. So if there was some amendment (whether explicit or tacit) to the arrangement after ESPN became directly involved, obviously, that would be relevant information that hasn't been released yet. We're all operating with limited information, and rather than build 1,500-word arguments based on assumptions that could be disproved by a single PR release before sunrise Friday, it's probably best to wait and learn more from the parties involved.

That all said, it's worth noting that, generally speaking, suspensions from organizations (whether sporting, media or otherwise) rarely improve the product being put out. Dez Bryant getting banned by the NCAA for the rest of his senior season didn't make Oklahoma State or the Big 12 any better or more entertaining, for example, to say nothing of what the NCAA lost when it wouldn't let Ohio State RB Maurice Clarett or USC WR Mike Williams get drafted or come back and play after their second seasons out of high school in 2004. Rules are rules, but taking talent off the field makes what happens on the field worse.

Obviously, that's not to say that all suspensions or other disciplinary actions are inherently bad -- discipline is important, and to keep the examples in college football, nobody would argue that Lawrence Phillips didn't spend enough time off the Nebraska squad after his domestic assault charge during the 1995 season. So yes, clearly, suspensions or firings/dismissals serve a well-needed purpose.

Yet, based on what we know now, Feldman didn't do anything wrong. He helped write a book that a whole lot of people really wanted to see written, and it wasn't even that one about ESPN itself that so many past and present ESPN employees gave testimony for -- under their own names, no less.

No, instead, ESPN is apparently degrading its PR standing (to say nothing of its paid Insider product, to which Feldman actually contributes) in order to punish Feldman and push this notion of ESPN as a faultless company that virtually zero of its consumers actually believe. It's extremely difficult to find a benefit to the company itself in this decision. The product is worse. The public perception is worse. The journalistic freedom within is now demonstrably worse. Exactly what is ESPN trying to accomplish here?

The appearance is that Craig James used his position at ESPN to force enough public pressure on Leach to be ousted from Texas Tech, and is now using his position within ESPN to force Feldman from the ranks at Bristol. If either is inaccurate and James would like to see Leach or Feldman restored to their previous statuses, by all means, we'd be glad to document such a statement. If not, it's hard not to think that ESPN is being used as a bully pulpit, and if that means a college football world without heavy involvement from Leach and Feldman, then college football is worse off for it, and that's no role for ESPN or any other major college football media organization to hold.

Posted on: June 8, 2011 12:02 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2011 12:04 pm
 

Inaugural Pony Express Award watch list released

Posted by Chip Patterson

The recent slew of NCAA investigations and scandal has brought the Southern Methodist narrative from the late 1970's - early 1980's back to the forefront. The dominance of Eric Dickerson and Craig James has now been re-told to a new generation of college football fans, as the many would consider the pair the greatest duo in college football.

So Dickerson and James have created a recognition to award the greatest pair in college football each year. The Pony Express Award "will look at two- and three-player tandems from across the nation, ultimately honoring the combination whose work ethic, desire, on- and off-field leadership and playmaking ability best fuel their team."

The award will be voted on by a blue ribbon panel of experts that will form the award's board of directors, and awarded at the completion of the 2011 regular season. The watch list for the inaugural award was released this week.

Alabama - RB Trent Richardson, WR Marquise Maze
Alabama - LB Courtney Upshaw, LB Dont'a Hightower, LB Nico Johnson


Alabama - S Mark Barron, S Robert Lester
Arizona - QB Nick Foles, WR Juron Criner
Arkansas - WR Greg Childs, WR Joe Adams, WR Jarius Wright
Auburn - RB Michael Dyer, RB Ontario McCalebb
Baylor - QB Robert Griffin, WR Kendall Wright, WR Josh Gordon
Boise State - QB Kellen Moore, RB Doug Martin
Boston College - DE Max Holloway, LB Luke Kuechly
Clemson - DE Andre Branch, DT Brandon Thompson
Florida - RB Jeff Demps, RB/WR Chris Rainey
Florida State - QB EJ Manuel, RB Jermaine Thomas, RB Lonnie Pryor
Florida State - CB Greg Reid, CB Xavier Rhodes, LB Nigel Bradham
Georgia - G Cordy Glenn, C Ben Jones
Georgia - K Blair Walsh, P Drew Butler
Iowa - DE Broderick Binns, DT Mike Daniels
Kentucky - LB Ronnie Sneed, LB Danny Trevathan


LSU - QB Jordan Jefferson, WR Russell Sheppard


Miami - LB Sean Spence, S Ray Ray Armstrong
Michigan State - QB Kirk Cousins, RB Edwin Baker, WR Keshawn Martin
Nebraska - LB Lavonte David, CB Alfonzo Dennard
North Carolina - WR Dwight Jones, WR Erik Highsmith
North Carolina - DE Donte Paige-Moss, DE Quinton Coples, DT Tydreke Powell
North Carolina - LB Zach Brown, LB Kevin Reddick
Notre Dame - LB Manti Te'o, LB Darius Flemming
Ohio State - RB Dan Herron, WR DeVier Posey
Ohio State - OT Mike Adams, OT JB Shugarts, C Mike Brewster
Oklahoma - QB Landry Jones, WR Ryan Broyles, WR Kenny Stills
Oklahoma - LB Travis Lewis, LB Tom Wort, DB Tony Jefferson
Oklahoma State - QB Brandon Weeden, WR Justin Blackmon


Oregon - QB Darron Thomas, RB LaMichael James, RB Kenjon Barner
South Carolina - QB Stephen Garcia, RB Marcus Lattimore, WR Alshon Jeffrey
South Carolina - DE Devin Taylor, DT Melving Ingram
SMU - DE Taylor Thompson, DE Margus Hunt
Stanford - QB Andrew Luck, WR Chris Owusu, TE Coby Fleener
Stanford - OT Jonathan Martin, G David DeCastro
Texas - LB Keenan Robinson, LB Emmanuel Acho, DL Kheeston Randall
Texas - S Christian Scott, S Blake Gideon
Texas A&M - QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Cyrus Gray, WR Jeff Fuller
TCU - LB Tanner Brock, LB Tank Carder
Troy - DE Jonathan Massaquoi, LB Kanorris Davis
Tulsa - QB GJ Kinne, WR Damaris Johnson
USC - QB Matt Barkley, WR Robert Woods
Virginia Tech - QB Logan Thomas, WR Jarett Boykin, WR Dyrell Roberts
Washington - RB Chris Polk, WR Jermaine Kearse
Washington - DT Alameda Ta'amu, LB Cort Dennison
West Virginia - QB Geno Smith, WR Tavon Austin
Wisconsin - RB Montee Ball, RB James White

What are your thoughts on the list? Any early favorites? Let us know in the comments section below.
Posted on: December 28, 2010 12:09 pm
 

CBS Bowl Bonanza: Armed Forces Bowl

Posted by Tom Fornelli as part of the blog's Bowl Bonanza series.

The Basics: Army (6-6) vs. SMU (7-6), Dec. 30 Noon EST

Why You Should Watch: You should tun into the Armed Forced Bowl because you generally don't get a lot of chances to see Army and SMU in bowl games these days.  This will be the first time Army has played in a bowl since 1996, and this is only the second time that SMU has been in a bowl game over the last 25 years, or since Eric Dickerson and Craig James were getting paid.  If that's not enough there's also the contrast in styles of both teams, as Army runs the triple option and SMU is a run and shoot team.

Keys to Victory for Army: The strategy for Army to win this game is simple, yet won't be nearly as easy to execute.  It simply needs to keep the SMU offense off the field as much as possible.  While Army should be proud to be back in a bowl game, the fact of the matter is that they just don't have the talent and depth that SMU has, and can't afford to get into any kind of shootout.

Still, there's reason to believe Army can be successful.  SMU's defense had a lot of trouble stopping Navy's offense earlier this season, particularly the pitch on the option as Navy rushed for 253 yards in a 28-21 victory over the Mustangs.

Trent Steelman and the Army offense will have to have a similar game and hold on to the ball to have any chance of winning in this game.  They just simply don't have the depth on defense, particularly in the secondary, to keep the Mustangs passing attack in check.

Keys to Victory for SMU: Stop the option.  SMU has spent a lot of time in practice trying to fix the mistakes of the Navy game and work on their defensive assignments against the option.  If they can keep Army from running all over them, the Mustangs should come away with the victory.

After all, this game will be played in SMU's home stadium.

When SMU has the ball they should look to exploit any Army linebacker forced into coverage as they just don't have the agility to stay with SMU's slot receivers Darius Johnson and Cole Beasley.  Another key will be to pick up the blitz, as odds are that Army will blitz a lot to make up for its secondary.  Kyle Padron has had some trouble when pressured this season, so giving him time to find his open receiver will be key.

The Mustangs should also look to use the run game to slow down the blitz, as they've been more successful on the ground than you'd expect from a June Jones offense.  Zach Line isn't going to break any long runs, but he is a big, bruising back that can be used to soften the Army defense and cause linebackers to hesitate on play action, therefore opening up more lanes in the secondary for receivers.

The Armed Forces Bowl is like: that old t-shirt you found in the back of the closet.  You haven't worn the thing in a long time, and it's no longer in fashion, but it still fits and it's awfully comfortable.
Posted on: November 24, 2010 6:28 pm
 

Former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach suing ESPN

Posted by Chip Patterson

Former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach has spent this football season commentating for CBS College Sports, hosting his own satellite radio show, and now flexing his lawyer muscles a little bit.  Leach's lawyers filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against ESPN and Spaeth Communications for libel and slander, among other accusations.  The suit focuses on ESPN College Football commentator Craig James, father of Adam James, who was at the center of Leach's firing at Texas Tech.  Leach's camp is accusing James, ESPN, and Spaeth of actively conspiring to smear the coach's name in the wake of December's firing.

I may have my biases (Leach was kind enough to sit down with me back in October) but I do feel as though the former head coach of the Red Raiders was mistreated by the media during the time surrounding his dismissal.  People may have their own opinions about how players should be treated, but there definitely appeared to be a distinct slant in the way the story was being reported by certain outlets.  The success of the lawsuit is months away from determination, and some have called this a move of a "desperate man" searching for someone to blame.  No matter who's side you take in this one, we can all agree that re-hashing the details of the Adam James incident will not be pleasant.  For anyone.   
Posted on: October 18, 2010 11:30 am
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:14 pm
 

Minnesota needs Mike Leach, not Tony Dungy

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Now that Minnesota has officially fired Tim Brewster the search for a new head coach in Minneapolis has already gotten under way.  Heck, the Gophers have already been turned down by their top target, Tony Dungy. 

Though Dungy is willing to help his alma mater out in finding its next coach, and he even has somebody in mind.   Unfortunately for Minnesota, the man that Dungy has in mind is not the answer to what ails the Gophers.  I'd also guarantee that the man the school does need is not on Tony Dungy's radar.

Pirates prefer to stay off the radar.

While Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Lesley Frazier may be a good coach, the fact is he's never been a head coach, and no matter how much Tony Dungy likes him, Frazier won't make Minnesota a destination.

Mike Leach would.

If Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi doesn't place a call to Mike Leach before he does Frazier, or any other potential candidate, he's doing a disservice to his school.  Mike Leach is a head coach that would not only bring attention to Minnesota, but he'd also reinvent the program, and just might turn the Gophers into a legitimate threat in the Big Ten.

When was the last time Minnesota could say that?

Yes, there are possible distractions with Leach.  I can't look past the alleged treatment of his former receiver, Adam James.   Still, I can't help but think that if Adam James wasn't the son of ESPN's Craig James, Leach's pirate ship would still be anchored at Texas Tech.

Aside from that one mistake in Lubbock, though, look at what Leach has done with his football teams on the field.  In ten seasons at Texas Tech the Red Raiders never had a losing season, has had ten straight bowl appearances, and never won less than seven games in a season.

You know how many times Minnesota can say they've done any of that in the last ten years?  Let's see, the Gophers have had five winning seasons since 2000, four of which came when Glen Mason was the head coach.  The school has won more than seven games only twice in those ten years, though they have gone to eight bowl games.

They finished higher than fifth in the Big Ten once in those ten years.

In other words, the Gophers have had very similar success to what Texas Tech had before they hired Mike Leach.

So the question for Maturi is this: does he want to go with the career coordinator who might bring a winning tradition to Minnesota, and is good friends with Tony Dungy, or does he want to go with the coach who has proven he knows how to win football games and can put a school on the map?

Seems like an easy decision to me.  If Minnesota wants change then a mutiny is in order, and you need a real pirate to do that.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com